New Hampshire Chicken Breed Guide: Eggs, Temperament, Color, Pictures

The New Hampshire Chicken is an American breed that was developed in 1910 in the New England states. Breeders now choose them because they can be used for both meat and eggs.

It’s a popular breed because of its early maturity, fast-growing, and fast feathering. They serve as good table birds, and their hens have good laying ability. Due to the features mentioned above, this chicken breed is in huge demand.

If you want to raise this New Hampshire chicken breed, you must have access to detailed information. To have that, one needs to gain proper guidance.

We’ve included the history, lifespan, color variety, egg production, size, characteristics, appearance, facts, care guide, and pictures of New Hampshire chickens in this guide.

What is a New Hampshire Chicken?

New Hampshire Red Hen
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New Hampshire Red Hen

As the name reveals, New Hampshire is a type of chicken breed that originated in the state of New Hampshire in the United States. 

It’s a hybrid chicken primarily developed as a commercial breed for meat productionbut now it is on the list of good egg-laying chickens

New Hampshire chickens produce more meat but fewer eggs than their parent chicken breed (Rhode Island Red). It was first standardized by the American Poultry Association in 1935

Common Names of New Hampshire Chicken

The New Hampshire Chicken, also known as the New Hampshire Red, originates in New Hampshire, United States.

History of New Hampshire Chickens

The New Hampshire chicken breed was developed in 1915 in New Hampshire in the United States from a strain of Rhode Island Red. The newly formed breed was admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1935. 

It represents a selection, especially out of the Rhode Island Red breed. After that, through intensive selection for early maturity and vigor, fast weathering, and rapid growth, a different breed gradually emerged. 

This event took place in the New England States, mainly in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where it derived its name.

Lifespan of New Hampshire Chickens

The New Hampshire chicken has an average lifespan of about 6-8 years. They may live a longer life with good shelter and feed.

New Hampshire Chicken Egg Color, Size, and Broodiness

The New Hampshire Red is a dual-purpose chicken breed that is primarily grown for egg production. However, this is currently a popular meat bird. Each hen lays 250–280 eggs per year, or around five eggs each week.

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Their eggs are large in size and tinted in color. The color of the egg mainly depends upon the strain of New Hampshire hen that you have in your flock. 

But, in general, most of them lay eggs with a brown shell. They lay roughly medium-sized eggs, and the bird continues to lay eggs, and they are happy with it at any part of the year. 

New Hampshire chickens often go broody frequently and are good setters. If they are allowed to hatch on their own, they become good mothers too. 

Some breeds of this New Hampshire chicken often accept baby chicks from other hens too, but this property varies from hen to hen.

Temperament of New Hampshire Chicken

New Hampshire Chicken Rooster
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New Hampshire Chicken Rooster

They have different personalities; some of them are calm and docile, while others are very aggressive. New Hampshire chickens are family-friendly birds, and they seem like great pets as you can tame them easily.

Most New Hampshire Reds are aggressive toward food, and they are willing to push and nudge their flock mates away from their path, so it’s not good if you already have docile, shy chicken breeds in your flock. 

To stop or reduce their bullying behavior, you can opt to have several feeding sessions, and the feeding should be done apart from each other.

As their personalities vary greatly, be aware that they can be docile and lovable or unfriendly and aggressive. Please read our guide on how many hens per rooster you need to keep flocks stress-free.

Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of New Hampshire Chicken

Color and Appearance

The skin color of the New Hampshire chickens is yellow, and their sizes are roughly the same as the Rhode Island Reds, but their bodies are triangular. 

They have a deep broody body, and so people consider them a large round meaty bird, and you can use the word plump for them.

The coloration of feathers is different from the Rhode Island Red, and their feathers usually have a lighter shade of red. Still, the Rhode Island Red’s coloration is mahogany, and the New Hampshire Red has a chestnut shade and has pale yellow highlights.

New Hampshire chickens have a shaded red color and a lighter shade of red in sunlight. Their neck feathers and tail feathers have black tips. 

They have a light salmon color under their feathers. They have a single red comb which is floppy with the hen. The color of the wattles and ear lobes is also red. Their eyes are orange, and their beaks are a reddish horn color.

Their shanks are clean, and a reddish line runs down the shanks to the toes, while the color of the shanks and toes is yellow.


New Hampshire Puller Pecking on Plant
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New Hampshire Puller Pecking on Plant

New Hampshire Reds are medium-sized birds, and they weigh around 6 to 8 pounds. The bantam version of this breed is also available, and the bantam generally weighs around 30 to 34 ounces. 

Also Read:  17 Best Chickens For Beginners: For Eggs, Meat, Show Purposes

Two varieties of New Hampshire chicken are available on the market: Blue-tailed New Hampshire Chicken and White New Hampshire Chicken. 

The blue-tailed New Hampshire chickens are extremely rare and were created in Holland. At the same time, the white New Hampshire chicken breed is common in the United States.


This chicken breed matures early, and their feathers grow at a faster rate as compared to other chicken breeds. 

They have a deep and broad body. New Hampshire chickens are often prone to going broody. Many chickens of this breed have pin feathers with a reddish, brownish, or buff color.

Their color is a medium-light red, which fades in the sunshine. New Hampshire chickens possess a single comb whose size ranges from medium to large. 

For females, their combs often lop over a bit. They are good layers of chicken, but people raise them for their meat requirements. 

Benefits of Raising New Hampshire Chicken

They have a variety of personalities. Some of them have a calm nature, while others are very aggressive. But most of them are docile and curious. 

You can raise New Hampshire chickens in either a free-range system or a confined area. They are robust, which means they are sturdy hens, and they have no major problems, as noted in the health department. 

This chicken is a good dual-purpose bird, but people use it as a meat chicken. Also, New Hampshire’s are pretty good layers. They are gorgeous, not noisy, and very friendly and hardy. 

Problems in Raising New Hampshire Chickens

New Hampshire Red Pullet
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New Hampshire Red Pullet

The main problems associated with the raising of New Hampshire chickens are that they eat a lot and that they are not the best mothers.

Many chicken keepers have stated that this breed is hostile to other chicken breeds.

Being in a smaller coop might make them feel uneasy, which can lead to bullying and feather pecking among the flock.

New Hampshire hens may become violent toward chicks that do not follow them and if they see a chick of a different breed among their own offspring.

Caring and Raising Tips for New Hampshire Chickens

Here are some of the tips that you should consider before raising this breed of chicken:

  • This New Hampshire chicken can withstand high temperatures, but they must rest in a shaded area.
  • Because they are free range chickens, they will need access to a lawn or backyard to graze.
  • Provide New Hampshire Reds with high-quality protein-rich feed to ensure better meat and egg quality.
  • During the winter, keep the coop warm.
  • Even during winter months, increase the diet of this New Hampshire chicken because they lay the most eggs.
  • Regular health checks for parasites and other issues will be beneficial. Here’s our quick overview of the best chicken dewormers.

New Hampshire Chicken Facts

1. If you want to raise chickens from eggs, New Hampshire Reds are one of the best choices.

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2. In general, the females are great mothers to their own chicks or any other babies that need a gentle beak to help them get ready for motherhood. So they are natural brooders.

3. The New Hampshire chicks grow swiftly. The hens are medium egg layers, personable, and easy to tame.

4. They are great foragers, and because they can’t fly, they don’t need high fencing.

5. They are tolerant and aggressive towards other poultry birds. They do not go broody in winters.

6. New Hampshires do well in both confinement and free range environments. You can keep them free in your backyard or you can buy them a portable or large size coop.

7. Some New Hampshire chickens are hostile, while others are peaceful, docile, and interested. This breed may be raised in confined or free-range systems.

8. The New Hampshire chickens are robust and durable throughout the cold. New Hampshire chickens are ideal for a cold-weather backyard coop.

9. New Hampshire hens like free range, but they are more timid in their coops. Their thick feather coats and big bodies will keep them warm in the winter, and their small single combs will keep them warmer than the larger combs on flashy breeds.

10. They need a warm, insulated coop with excellent ventilation and plenty of chicken dust-free bedding like hemp. Moisture is the leading cause of frostbite in hens, so keep the coop dry.

11. Female chickens are strong, graceful hens who like to take it slow and peck away at their own leisure.

12. They are full of life and energy. New Hampshire Red just runs and enjoys roaming. They prefer to be in pairs or flocks.

13. The female hens are not bothered by any other pets and rooster and love to play with children. They trust her kind demeanor and subtle charm in the coop and yard.


If you want to raise chickens for both meat and eggs, the New Hampshire Red is one of the best chickens to have in your backyard coop.

Most chicken raisers prefer this breed because it is quiet and happy to forage around your yard for tasty treats.

This chicken has stunning plumage and is in high demand in the United States. Raising them as dual purpose hens means you can save money and get more bang for your buck.

They used to live in the shadow of the Rhode Island Red, but they’ve proven to be a unique breed in their own right, and they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve.

What is your experience with New Hampshire Red chickens in the backyard? Comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this breed.

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

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